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Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

This is a discussion on Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!) within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; great write up. Strike up another sensor that went bad. Mine got stuck in 4lo, I was able to make ...

  1. #21
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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)


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    great write up. Strike up another sensor that went bad. Mine got stuck in 4lo, I was able to make it to the dealer and get the parts and do it in my driveway.

    2004 Z71 5.3, ProComp, Blackbear, Pacesetter, Trutrac, Yank, Transgo

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    I appreciated finding a procedure on Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement. I purchased a sensor and gasket ($110.00) for my 2005 Chevy Silverado. I'm a basic back-yard mechanic that likes to pull wrenches on my toys now and then. It wasn't a difficult job at all. It actually went quite well. My high hopes were shattered when, within one week, the "service 4wd" message re-appeared. I then removed the negative battery cable for about 15 minutes hoping the on-board computer would reset itself. The message reappeared within a couple days. I then had our mechanic wizard at work remove the code with a decoder unit. The message still reappeared later. Ok, so i tried cleaning the ground wires on the frame (I recall 2 previous comments on ground wires) hoping again to resolve this issue. Nope, message reappeared. I can shut off the vehicle or clear the message using the steering wheel delete control but the message will reappear in a couple days. Ironically, the 4 wheel drive shifts to all positions and works fine. I'm baffled.....Any body have any suggestions?

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    Might be the TCM or the Harness going bad. Don't rule out the front actuator. Do you know what the code number was? some guys on here will tell you what it most likely is by the number
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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    The code that keeps coming up is C0327. When we deleted the code another one was stored in 'history"...B0790 referring to wiring circuit neutral indicator.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtrotter View Post
    great write up. I replaced mine last night... seems to be working ok. When I pulled the encoder motor I found it full of oil... is this normal?
    I want to add my 2 cents on this issue...first off if you are getting a "Service 4WD" message in your dash display and no Check Engine Light illumination, it is most likely a CO327 or C0327 (I put both the 0 and O for people googling this topic). If the check engine light is illuminated it is probably a P2771 code and you have other issues than are discussed here. Anyways, back to the 327 code, this code as I've found out typically is one of 2 things, either the sensor listed above or a short to the ground wire coming out of the encoder motor assembly or the ground wire coming out of the Transfer Case Control Module. If you've checked the two ground wires and determined that is not the issue then it is the sensor. Now Hollywood the original poster had issues with the epoxy coming off inside the sensor...this warrants replacement, the post with which I am replying said there was oil in the encoder motor assembly. This is not normal. When I removed my assembly, mine was full of oil as well. I cleaned out the assembly and opened up the two halves of the sensor. It also had oil in it. I cleaned this all out and replaced the original sensor back into the assembly and reinstalled. This fixed the issue. I will be posting pictures soon of how to open and clean the sensor. Now to the root cause. The root cause was a leaking transfer case. There are three issues that could be causing this; 1) the bearing for the transfer case selector spline shaft is shot (GM P/N: 12547464 ~$8), 2) The snap ring for the spline shaft is not holding as tight (GM P/N: 15662234 ~$5), or 3) the plastic "Insulator" that is between the the encoder motor assembly and the transfer case is leaking (GM P/N: 12384973 ~$20). First off all these part numbers are for a 246 Transfer Case. The numbers may vary a bit with other TCs and second these prices are not from the stealership. I will post pics of the finished repair and sensor cleaning soon.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    I did not notice any oil or wet problems when I disassemble the encoder unit. It actually was very clean. I also took the old encoder apart to see if I could determine some cause why it may have not been working properly. I didn't come up with anything. The encoder that I installed was brand new from a local Chevrolet dealer. I hope it wasn't faulty. I cleaned the wires at the truck frame. Are there any other grounding points? And I have never had a service engine light come on. Still baffled.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    My guess is then it is the TCCM. Have you checked the wiring harnesses in and out of your TCCM? Also there are a couple of fuses and a couple of relays that relate to the TCCM that I have seen get corroded and can cause issues. Another issue that can cause this is the actual switch on the instrument panel. Have you removed the switch from the dash and checked the connections there for corrosion or loose connections? There are multiple threads across the internet that shows how to fix a faulty switch.

    BTW have you had your TCCM flashed by a dealership? I'm pretty sure there is a TSB on those modules that could be the issue.

    The only other possibility is if your front differential is making a groaning noise on deceleration, you may have bad bearing races and excessive play in the yolk assembly, causing the front axle indicator switch to trip within the differential itself. This one will be costly and labor intensive to fix...Not a do it yourself for the average back yard mechanic.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    My guess is then it is the TCCM. Have you checked the wiring harnesses in and out of your TCCM? Also there are a couple of fuses and a couple of relays that relate to the TCCM that I have seen get corroded and can cause issues. Another issue that can cause this is the actual switch on the instrument panel. Have you removed the switch from the dash and checked the connections there for corrosion or loose connections? There are multiple threads across the internet that shows how to fix a faulty switch.

    BTW have you had your TCCM flashed by a dealership? I'm pretty sure there is a TSB on those modules that could be the issue.

    The only other possibility is if your front differential is making a groaning noise on deceleration, you may have bad bearing races and excessive play in the yolk assembly, causing the front axle indicator switch to trip within the differential itself. This one will be costly and labor intensive to fix...Not a do it yourself for the average back yard mechanic.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    From another thread on this issue:


    The selector switch doesn't light up, I tried replacing it, but that did nothing. Went to Josh's chevy place and put it on the puter, but wouldn't interface with the 4wd brain. The 4wd fuse is good, but had to look up the acronym for the T-case fuse, found out its TREC. Checked, and its blown. Put in a new fuse, and everything lit, including service 4wd warning, but is stuck in 4hi. Some codes popped up, but josh said they made things vague. Anyway, put it on the lift, tapped the actuator and encoder motor, and right as it went to 2hi, it popped the trec fuse again. I just replaced the actuator, and josh is thinking its probably the encoder sensor........which is on back order.

    When I take it in to get the sensor replaced, he'll have the motor on hand in case this one is bad, and see what happens.

    For future reference, the 4wd fuse is inside beside the dash, the t-case fuse or trec is under the hood, on 2005's that is. Check these before doing anything, don't do what I did.

  10. #30
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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    Maybe you guys can help me out. I opted for a new encoder motor for my 04 Avalanche Z71 so I bought a Cardone rebuild from Amazon. The instruction says it is set in 2HI so I made sure the transfer case switch was in 2 HI before I took the old one off. Well I took the old one off but could not get the new one installed. The old one was also in 2WD as the gear is in the same position as the new one.

    What is happening is that the splined stub on the transfer case needs to be rotated clockwise. I can move it by hand clockwise to a point but it is not far enough and just snaps back. I don't know why it rotated back when i took the old one off. Frustrating day to say the least.

    Does anyone here have any tips on how to get this this to rotate far enough? A friend suggested putting the truck in neutral. Below is a link to a picture I took. The stub needs to be in the 7-7:30 position.


    http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/900/encoder003.jpg

    Thanks for looking

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    I have a 05 Sierra 1500 and I replaced the encoder motor today. My truck had only A4WD and 4H. It sounded like the TC was being ripped apart when I tried to shift to 4L. If I shifted to 2WD the light would sometimes flash then go straight back to A4WD and other times it would shift into 2WD like it should but as soon as I backed off the gas the TC would go into N. The light on the dash would still say 2WD. No service lights or indicators ever appearded. A new encoder sensor might have fixed it but I just ordered the entire moter assembly from Advance Auto for $300. Since I didin't have 2WD I had the same situation you are referring to when I started the install. I scotched the front tires, put the truck in Neutral, released the P-Brake and jacked up one rear tire. This allowed me to turn the rear drive shaft removing all pressure from the TC. With a pair of regular pliers and a easy twist of the drive shaft the output shaft on the TC easily rotated to the correct position. 10 minutes later I am back in business! Hope this helps!

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    ST....I will give that a try tomorrow.

    Thanks

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    Thanks STK that worked for me too!!!!

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    I have an encoder sensor and gasket for sale, ( Brand New, Never Used ) my truck was older and I had to get the encoder motor assembly. Encoder sensor part # 88962315 Gasket part # 12384990
    Last edited by starvy44; 11-15-2010 at 09:22 AM.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    Hey Starvy, how much are you looking to get for the sensor and gasket? (I am in Vancouver BC, so it would have to get shipped.)

    I just picked up a 2003 avalanche z71 that has been nothing but a headache in the first few weeks. I'm a student and this truck put my budget to the limit just by buying it, now I am finding problem after problem.

    When I first got it, it would make a slight holwing/whining sound when driving, but not at a stop. I figured it was a wheel bearing. But just recently I tried putting the truck into AWD 4wd but it made some weird sounds and started driving funny. Would make a louder whining sound, almost a whirring sound, and would feel like I was driving over bumps but on a flat road. The best I can describe it is that it was only part way engaged into 4wd? I tried putting it into 2wd but no luck. It would just flash then go back to AWD. After driving a bit more on my way home I finally got it to go back into 2wd, but whenever I hit the gas pedal, and sometimes when I dont, it makes a pretty loud whining sound. I have tried all the tricks, like pulling the trec fuse and waiting for a bit, I also re soldered the connections on the inside of the dash switch. But nothing has worked. Also, my "service 4wd" indicator comes on and goes every now and then.

    I am thinking it's most likely the sensor and not the motor itself since it partly engages sometimes?

    Once I get a chance and the weather warms up a bit, I am going to take out the encoder motor and see if it just needs to be cleaned up or something. But if that doesn't work, I will be in the market for the cheapest sensor I can get, whether it be ebay ($80) or someone off of here.

    For anyone selling an encoder sensor they don't need, send me an email at getafewlives@hotmail.com and let me know your price.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    I should probably also mention that when I was under the truck, I noticed the front drive shaft had some play. I am guessing U joints? But I don't know if it could be related to my problem.

    Also, not sure if it could possibly be related, but the stereo was stolen from the truck before I bought it and I was left with a mess of wires. When I was installing an aftermarket deck, i noticed the ignition power wire that should receive voltage when the key is on (or accessory) would only produce about 0.5v. But the constant power wire was fine. And all the fuses were fine. I ended up just using a different power wire that I found in a harness that was once used for a remote starter. Don't know what could be causing this issue though or what else it may affect.

    And one last thing, the frame and under body of the truck has a fair amount of rust from it being in Alberta. Could this be causing a faulty ground somewhere that would cause my 4wd issues? Where would I find the grounds to check out?

    Thanks :)

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    Sorry, I sold the sensor

  18. #38
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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    How did you get the old bearing out? I have a leak in that area as well. I have the new bearing and snap ring in hand but am having trouble getting the old one out.

    Edit: This is on a 2005 'Burban with an NV 246, not my signature '98. Stupid push-button 4wd.

    Thanks,
    Ty
    Last edited by 98K1500FourBy; 11-24-2010 at 07:44 AM.
    ~Ty

    '98 GMC K1500 4X4 2dr Ext Cab Short Bed BONE STOCK. 151K and climbing. Doesn't leak a drop of anything. Easily tows 5700 lbs up Afton Mountain. What. A. Beast.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    UPDATE:

    Today I took the encoder motor out and found some oil inside. I cleaned everything up and tried splitting the sensor apart to clean inside there but ended up just cracking the plastic. I managed to get it back together still though and voila, my 4wd switch seems to be working now :)

    It still makes the weird sounds, but I am thinking it's a wheel bearing or something else. Oh well, at least the 4wd works.

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    Re: Encoder Motor Sensor Replacement (w/ pics!!)

    Thanks a ton Hollywood_35! You saved me $$$'s of dollars. It was a much easier job than the dealer made it out to be. I ended up buying a whole motor from the salvage company for $200. They told me their data showed over 500 calls for this one part in the last month. They also said it is the number one selling used part part these trucks! I decided to keep my old motor, put a new sensor in it and keep it as a spare. I will post a pic of the guts of my sensor as it looks like dirt or a small pebble got inside somehow and wore an uneven groove along the edge until it failed. A couple of observations from my R&R; I tried in vain to remove the motor without dropping the driveshaft and almost got it but I was defeated so I ended up dropping it anyway. Its just easier. On my 05 gmc 1500hd Icouldn't just lower the drive shaft as the cross member was in the way and the exhaust also caused problems so I just moved it over as far as I could which was enough to wiggle the motor out. Piece a cake after that. Thanks again!

 

 
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